Yes. I’m superstitious!
Mostly, I make up my own superstitions, but once in a while, I buy into the traditional stuff. On New Year’s Day, devotedly eat my black-eyed peas to ensure a very good and lucky year ahead.
The practice of eating black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day dates back to the Civil War. Whether it was General Sherman, African Slaves, or the Jews of Ashkenazi who started the custom, it has endured to this day and continues in most of the Southern United States.
Canned black-eyed peas are fine to use and take less time, but you’ll want to get unseasoned and salt free if you use this recipe, as I’m using dried black-eyed peas.
- 1 Pound of Black-Eyed Peas
- 1/2 Pound of Pre-Cooked, Boneless Ham, Diced into Bite Sized Cubes
- 5 Strips of Bacon
- 1 Large Sweet Yellow Onion
- 1/2 Jalepeno Pepper
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Rinse black-eyed peas and pick out any hard or dark beans.
- In a large pot, boil black-eyed peas in clear, clean water for 3 minutes.
- Rinse black-eyed peas again and set aside. Wash pot if using for final cook. Otherwise, use a different, clean pot.
- Dice onion, garlic and bell pepper, and add them to pot.
- Wearing food-safe gloves, slice the ends off of the jalepeno pepper, and then slice in half length-wise. Remove the seeds and the pith, and then finely dice only 1/2 of the pepper.
- Add diced jalepeno and butter to pot, and turn heat on to medium. Add salt and pepper and stir the vegetables until butter melts.
- Turn heat down to medium/low, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add bacon and diced ham to pot, and turn up heat to medium for 2 minutes.
- Stir pot, and then pour in beans and enough water to cover beans plus about 2 inches.
- Add cumin, cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper.
- Stir frequently until water is nearly boiling, and then turn down heat to a low simmer.
- Simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are fork-tender, stirring occasionally.
- Serve hot with cornbread, and place a coin under your bowl while eating (the bigger the coin, the bigger the luck).